There’s always something to be thankful for!

You may not have thought of it recently or ever. You may do it daily and even many times a day. But there is always something to be thankful for. I don’t know about you but the more time passes and the earth revolves I’m more and more amuzed with all the beauty around me. From the majestic changing of the leaves on the trees with their burnt orange, green & yellow tones & the seasonal decor to the comfy food recipes & dreamy sunrise & sunsets I catch a glimpse of through my bedroom window. You name it there’s so much to be thankful and blessed for.

Miami Autumn Sunset at Casa Mady

Each new day brings us the ability to explore and add to our experience and do bank. How exciting is it that we get to create memories every day that turn into stories we then get to remember and write about just like I’m doing here.

I am grateful for the sun that rises and shines yet also the clouds and trickling rain that make the grass grow greener and the trees tower taller. I love my garden where not only I but others enjoy as well

I often walk around the perimeter of my Lima bean shaped pool which is surrounded by a myriad of potted plants and whimsical outdoor decor I’ve collected throughout my life. Just strolling along and looking at the new blooms makes me reminisce where I was when I acquired them and how I envisioned it could look amidst the rest of my trinkets and I sigh in bliss. It truly doesn’t take much to be thankful for.

Have you stopped to sit and recap lately?

Making time to just sit still and clear your mind of all thoughts, yes all of them, your chores, kids, cooking, cleaning, work etc and pray, meditate, dream or wish for minutes. Its so easy and yet so powerful. Torelax and contemplate the moment is one way of disconnecting but if you just add a few more steps you may just tap into a world of possibilities beyond your dreams.

You don’t have to be an expert and there’s only one way to know. So lets tey it.

Simply close your eyes clear your thoughts & begin to inhale/exhale slowly. Now you easily look into the darkness flow into relaxing your limbs one at a time from top to bottom and start to envision yourself where you wish to be & dream away. It truly makes a difference when done often and you will manifest what you want.

I will share one recent experience and testify my faith. Early on when COVID lockdowns were worldwide, I learned of the dire need of my boys nanny from El Salvador, Armida. I wrote about her on a past post here on the blog. I knew everyone was in need of help but I also knew their need was greater than mine so I felt torn with asking for aide for I could not do it alone. Regardless of these thoughts I yearned to help however I could. I was participating in a 21 day group meditation for abundance and we’d receive a daily reading, affirmations along with a 15 minute guided meditation.

My kids nanny of 20 yrs and her family live in El Salvador. The COVID conditions in an already poor country in pre-virus times was in diar need of help. They were on complete lockdown, no public transportation, no business’ allowed open and very scarce Government aide. I already help her regularly for all her years of love, support and A+ care for my sons. Her big heart and joy of giving are prominent byfar. But each time I spoke with her I felt the anguish of the situation even with her faith filled soul. So as I prayed this day and did my affirmations and meditation our topic from a few days earlier flashed within me that it was on point. All these days of focusing on abundance and seeing tiny changes encouraged me to reach out to a handful of friends and family to ask for help for them in faith. I put a number in my head, visualized it and thanked the Universe for its grace. By the end of the day I was so humbled to share I had collected $1200 for her and those around her in even more need. In the following days even more was pledged and all I can reiterate is that I BELIEVE and I am soooo elated to share this with all of you. Namaste 🙏 everybody!

Cherish every little thing today for we not know if tomorrow will come nor if what we had today will be there tomorrow. Have faith in what you envision to be happiness and be kind and helpful to others. For there is always something to be thankful for.

Careful what you wish for!

In my discovery years, well as far as I can remember, which is about 4 or 5 because I still remember my preschool in Coconut Grove, FL where I grew up. My Cuban immigrant parents had finally settled in Miami almost a decade after arriving to the US. They came seeking refuge & a future initially in Puerto Rico & later in Chattanooga Tennessee where my sister was born. They were dedicated workers and had hopes and dreams of building a life and future for their daughters.

Mom & Dad bought their first home in the early 70’s for under thirty thousand dollars. Our homestead stood on an odd shaped lot that was triangular. The house was built on the east corner of the plot and my mother had a small garden adjacent to it, then towards the west there was a long narrow grassed area with a huge banyan tree with all its majestic roots exposed, a tropical almond tree off the sidewalk and several other trees & bushes that lined the fence. Oh how I wished those wonder years would never end!

Our first home early 70’s

The years passed and I grew more curious and wanted to know the how, what and why of everything.

I was fearless and would let my imagination take off on Madys wild ride and I didn’t need much to go on my adventures. We enjoyed many happy years both at home and school. Mom would allow our friends to come over and we’d have slumber parties, birthdays and holidays with family and friends. The good old backyard days when life was simpler and similar to how its been the last 6 months. I wished to be surrounded by people the more the merrier.

My sister Gigi and I in outdoor Play house.

Then one summer night we received the news of our parents separating and boy was that tough, I was scared and confused yet I felt I needed to be strong and calm to help my mom. She was devastated and had to deal with alot of new issues and She lost her mojo for a bit so I knew I needed to strengthen mine to help her. I was not a bit shy and had already done some part time work selling my favorite accessory shoes. I even won my first sales contest on my second weekend, so shortly after I accepted a job as a travel agent assisting a family friend and dove into my last year of high school. It was different than I had dreamt this year would be but I wished for all the turmoil to pass and whatever we would have to face we’d make it through.

My aunt Mabel always touted that I’d be a super star in sales or fabricating jeans or managing people because of my leadership traits and extroverted personality.

Well Mabel was right, I experienced a few other jobs for a while searching for the right fit and a few years later my mother ran into Elena, another mom from my formative years while shopping at Sears, a couple of weeks later I was sitting in Dr. Kurstin and Elena’s jacuzzi sipping Sambuca after learning how to water ski all day, interviewing for my next job. Talk about the power of a mom’s prayers and The Law of Attraction. Well, I not only got a job offer, I also learned all about Netsuke’s. Pronounced Net-Skis

What are Netsuke’s I asked? As Elena said, “lets have another Sambucca”.

netsuke’s are a small ornamental toggle like piece, usually of carved ivory, used to attach a medicine box, pipe, or tobacco pouch to the obi (sash) of a Japanese man’s traditional dress. An art form Dr. Kurstin had been collecting for years and was enamored with. Now the child within me wished to learn more!

The Netsuke was ornamental too

And this is how I learned about Netsuke.

Dr Kurstin asked, when could I start. I replied, ” I’d like to give my dad’s friend at least 2 weeks for having given me a flexible job opportunity so I could try to go back to school. He responded what a shame. I replied why? He said, we’re traveling that week to Hawaii for a Netsuke convention. I said, oh wow! that sounds awesome, what’s Netsuke. He then explained what Netsuke were and said, “you wanna come with us”? I chuckled and said oh yeah, sure I’ll just go on vacation and start after and looked at Elena. She looked at him looked back at me and said, he’s not joking… All I had to do was pay my airline ticket. His daughter was joining them and had plenty of room for me too. Well you can only imagine how I felt for the next few weeks. And just like that, I started on the Monday we agreed on, worked 2 days, traveled with them for 10 days to Hawaii and even got paid for it. What a way to start a new job right! How I wished for a purposeful place to work at and here it was. I would be the best worker ever in my mind!

I’d overcome so much for the last few years with my parents divorce, its after effects, and it was as if I’d won a grand prize. I had picked myself up, brushed off the past occurrences and was launching a new chapter just like my adventures at The Gingerbread House. I met the most wonderful group of girls, we worked well and hard and also played hard, we became family. I worked in the Ophthalmology field with Dr. Kurstin and Elena for 25 years. They had separated from a practice they were both at for quite some time and I was the new appointment girl who was in charge of filling up the office and making sure we carried an adequate flow for the Dr. I was summoned to arrange 10 patients an hour so as to not overwhelm our staff and clog the system. But everyone wanted to see, “El Aleman” translates to The German, a nickname given to the Dr. early in his career because the hispanic’s had difficulty pronouncing his name. He didn’t like it because he had no clue he had German descent thru his fathers side until he took Elena to visit all his family in St Louis and discovered it while she told them all the story about the nickname. From then on he felt it was OK since it was now true. I assure you no matter how much I battled with Dr. Kurstin we frequently had patient backups. The patients either came in too early, all together on the transportation buses or it just rained that day. It was a topic I wish we would have found a solution for!

The work I did was so fulfilling in so many ways people thought I owned shares in the practice. He was such an outstanding human being, his patient’s came first, he is humble, courteous, with a bedside manner above and beyond most and an out of this world physician who gave sight and hope back to so many people young and old that I felt proud to be one of Kurstin’s Angels as he would often call us. I was happy and wished I could please him all of the time and always tried to but he held a high bar and it wasn’t easy.

He had the midas touch!

Every time he would think of adding another service, procedure or product to offer to our patients we would be skeptical because we knew that would bring change, but he would always make it work. Younger doctors would come to work and learn from him and they couldn’t keep up. We stopped questioning his ability to make things happen when he got the wild notion one day to expose his best Netsuke pieces at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando. We all laughed aloud and said sure you will Joe.

Well can I tell you is to, “be careful what you wish for”, took a whole new meaning not too long after that day, when he came into the office and informed us he had reached out to Disney and was meeting with the Curator of the Bijutsu-kan Gallery at the Japanese Pavilion at Epcot to discuss his idea. Not only did they like it but he went on to plan and chair the following years International Netsuke Society’s Convention at the Japan Pavilion and tied in the exhibit opening as the culmination for the event with dessert and fireworks under the stars to top the night. It was truly magical! If you’re interested in learning more about Netsuke you can find more info at http://www.Netsuke.org and there are archives of interesting pieces along with the stories and current events the society has today. I am forever grateful and blessed to have worked along side Dr. Kurstin and Elena, he is my mentor and she my adopted mom as I their adoptive daughter. Their both special people I have looked up to most of my life. Thank you Joe and Elena for all those great memories I will cherish forever… I wished for LOVE and got so much more!

Netsuke images taken from the book that accompanied the exhibit at Epcot

PS: We’re still connected and still socialize and reminisce our grand times together. I’m sure I’ll share many more interesting stories about our times together on my blog in the future.

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Fall in full force!

Every year I look foward to the kickoff of the holiday season. I typically purchase post holiday items the prior year so I’m always eager to start unveiling to start transitioning Casa Mady for Fall 2020.

Considering all the time spent at home this year, I got enthralled into organizing all areas of my home especially the attic where I discovered new mom treasures to relish and add in with much glee.

Its been a sweet time reminescing my early years when she encouraged & supported our creative sides and then she’d applaud and brag when we displaying or performing our gigs. She loved it so much.

I had a plant hook with her signature bird motiff on it and hung one of the new acquisitions I just got and it looks awesome against the brick. I promise to share all about mom & the birds on a different post soon.

How do I plan? First I gather all the Fall decor and set it out to access what I have. I go through all the ideas I saved, look at previous yrs and start decide what will go where and before long I’m off into my decorating frenzy for days. You name it I use runners, pillows, flowers, greens, plaids, linens, textured ribbon, wreaths and my favorite vintage trinkets. Here’s a glimpse of some of the items.

Dried snd silk flowers, greens, cloth napkins, dried fruits and pumpins
Table Runners

I couldn’t wait to unroll the new rug I chose today to compliment my front porch. I thought it might be too big but its actually just the right. Did a little rearranging and ta daaa! What a ya think?

Plaid Outdoor Accent Rug
Here’s the Fall Porch. Enjoy !!!

I hope you enjoyed Fall at Casa Mady and I’d love to see yours too. Tell me what inspires you and share some tips if you’d like.

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